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Mabou Mines

The “most incendiary” of experimental ensembles (Frank Rich, The New York Times), Mabou Mines was formed in 1970 under circumstances since buried in fable and academic paper. Here are some of the facts: In 1970, Lee Breuer and Ruth Maleczech, increasingly frustrated playing to all-expatriate audiences in Paris, were persuaded by Philip Glass, JoAnne Akalaitis and the establishment of the new National Endowment for the Arts, to move to New York and start a theater company exploring new ideas in language, literature, music, performance and the visual arts. At the time, Philip and friend Rudy Wurlitzer were negotiating for a property in Dunvegan, Nova Scotia, near to a town called Mabou Mines. The new theater collective needed a name. “Mabou Mines” was chosen because “it sounded like a band, or the title of an album,” according to Ruth.